About Martyn Playing The Band is finally in print...!!!
Martyn Hanson was born in 1956, and is married with two grown-up children. He was a keen runner (now in semi-retirement) and has completed the famous London to Brighton road race twice but found that life begins at being a grandad! Martyn enjoys watching movies, especially films made by Orson Welles, Powell & Pressburger and Stanley Kubrick. His favourite film is Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West. Martyn enjoys reading politics and music books.

In 1993 Martyn graduated with Honours from the Open University and set out to achieve his ambition of becoming a published author. An ELP fan since only a few months after their 1970 debut album, he co-authored The Show That Never Ends, the 2000 definitive ELP biography (soon to be re-published in an expanded, revised edition).

Martyn authored the critically acclaimed Hang On To A Dream — The Story Of The Nice in 2002. He has subsequently written many CD sleeve notes for ELP, The Nice, and Refugee. His third book, Hoggin' The Page — The Story Of Tony McPhee & The Groundhogs was published by Northdown in October 2005.

Martyn's newly-published fourth book, Playing The Band, (see right) completes an interesting trilogy of works tracing the origins of progressive music in the late '60s. The Nice' main influence was classical music, the Groundhogs came from the blues, and Colosseum's main influence was jazz. The three books together now give a fascinating insight into the differing influences that made the period so unique.
PRESS RELEASE: "Martyn Hanson's eagerly-awaited authorised biography takes you on the roller-coaster ride that is the life of Jon Hiseman — one of Britain's top drummers.

It's a personal journey through one of the most intriguing and fascinating periods in rock and pop history, telling in detail the triumphs and disappointments that make up a life spent at the centre of the British music industry as it reached dizzying heights... until the advent of new technology brought it back to earth with a bump! There are stories of The New Jazz Orchestra, John Mayall, Graham Bond, Georgie Fame, Colosseum, Tempest, Colosseum II, The United Jazz & Rock Ensemble, Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia and more. But, it's not just a story of a life in music; it is a tale of individualism, survival, friendships and rivalry, romance, brutal reality and occasional insanity. Above all, it's the story of a man who describes himself as 'a cautious optimist' and who considers his greatest achievement his enduring love affair with saxophonist and composer Barbara Thompson.

As a drummer, Hiseman knows the musical meaning of the phrase 'timing is everything' only too well, but to understand his life one must add 'in the right place at the right time' — Britain in the early 1960s. The UK music scene was starting to establish its own identity after decades of American influence. These changes happened right across the musical spectrum; but after reaching their climax in the early 1970s, they were all but over by the end of that decade. It was truly a fantastic era while it lasted and the musicians you will meet in this book formed an amazing melting pot of talent — including a certain drummer by the name of Jon Hiseman — who had by his side for most of his musical career the very special musician and his lifetime companion Barbara Thompson, who certainly deserves an honourable place in the list of great British musical mavericks." Order Playing The Band here......
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